Private Screen Sharing
January 9, 2014 3:10 PM   Subscribe

I would like to work from home and remote in to my work computer without people being able to see what I'm doing on my screen. Right now I am using iCloud's back to Mac screen sharing feature, but that is distracting my students in my computer lab and encouraging them to do mischief. I cannot install Timbuktu or other screen sharing programs at this time due to cost constraints. Is there a way to screen share or remote login wherein the target computer's screen stays off, giving me privacy to work and do what I need to do? Target computer is an iMac. Other suggestions for free but secure programs appreciated.
posted by These Birds of a Feather to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Can't you just turn the monitor power off before you leave? Or would someone turn it back on?
posted by aimedwander at 3:17 PM on January 9, 2014

Can you just turn the screen brightness all the way down on the iMac? The lowest brightness setting looks basically identical to a shut-down computer.
posted by mekily at 3:18 PM on January 9, 2014

Here is a similar question on stackexchange with some possible solutions:
posted by meta87 at 3:23 PM on January 9, 2014

Nah, apparently setting the display to sleep before I leave means that remote login via iCloud won't work. I don't understand why. The lowest brightness setting on 2013 iMacs isn't dark enough either. You can still totally see what's going on.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 3:24 PM on January 9, 2014

This is low-tech, but can you cover the iMac's screen with something so the screen's not visible - like a file folder or something similar?
posted by pdb at 3:36 PM on January 9, 2014

Or can you perhaps unplug the monitor when you leave?
posted by OrangeDisk at 3:55 PM on January 9, 2014

(iMacs do not have separate monitors, they're all one piece.)

You could use a utility like Shades, which has a setting to make the screen completely black.
posted by bcwinters at 4:04 PM on January 9, 2014

I'm 99% positive that LogMeIn has a setting to lock the destination screen, so all other people see is "enter password to log in" or whatever.
posted by Lyn Never at 4:25 PM on January 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

Lyn Never has it. LogMeIn has two settings you can set with each session: one to disable remote input (so people can't just walk by and start typing or move the mouse) and one to turn off the monitors (basically makes them appear as if they had cycled off) .

When I had a desktop at work, I used those settings all the time if I needed to remote in.

I'm not in front of my PC to look for the exact setting names, but those oughta do ya!
posted by mrhaydel at 5:27 PM on January 9, 2014

Okay, sorry, I saw Lyn Never's comment and had a quick false positive.

TeamViewer is what I was actually meaning to refer to, not LogMeIn. :-|

Anyway, it has two 'Actions' you can take on the remote computer: 'Disable remote input' and 'Show black screen' (I just checked, for reals).
posted by mrhaydel at 5:34 PM on January 9, 2014

Thanks all, these are some good leads. Hopefully one will allow me to do my work without my students (or lame coworkers) interfering with my computer when I'm out of the office.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 10:51 AM on January 13, 2014

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